How to Ask For Feedback From an Interview
So, you have gone through a series of interviews with a company and now have just received an email stating that you weren’t selected for the position. This is always a lousy feeling, but what can you learn from this? How can you ask for feedback from an interview? Should you even ask for it? What does it matter – you weren’t selected!?
These are common feelings after getting the turn down email. You had a series of interviews with a company you had high hopes for, thought it was a sure fit, and were expecting that email confirming their interest in you. Didn’t happen, so now it is time to learn.
When to Ask For Feedback From an Interview
After getting that turn-down email from the company, you should follow up within a day or two while things are still fresh. Remember, recruiters are busy people and are probably dealing with multiple hiring processes and trying to close the process from which you got eliminated. If you wait too long, the recruiter might forget about you and not remember what to give as feedback. Although recruiters take notes and probably have this logged, don’t expect them to go back and look things over to then send you feedback. That is why it is best to ask for feedback from an interview as soon as possible.
How To Ask For Feedback From an Interview
You don’t have to send a super long email like you did when you sent your cover letter. This email should be short and straight to the point. Start by greeting the person, (Dear Name), followed by, (thank you for your response or thank you for getting back to me.) Then mention how you enjoyed meeting the team and learning more about the organization. Add this only if it is the case. Next say something like, (as I continue my job search, would you be willing to send me some feedback on areas that I can improve for future interviews?) Then close your email, (Kind regards,) (Name).
As you can see here, this wasn’t a long email. It was straight to the point. It lets the recruiter know what you want and how this would help you. Hopefully, if you had a good relationship with the recruiter and were able to establish rapport throughout the interviews, he or she should be willing to drop you a quick note.
When Not To Ask For Feedback From an Interview
Let’s face it, if you had a crappy interview or were unable to really connect with the interviewer throughout the process, you shouldn’t bother asking for feedback. You would be wasting your time. Definitely don’t ask for feedback after just one interview. The interviewer won’t know enough about you to give feedback and will probably just delete your email.
Why Do Some Recruiters Not Send Feedback When Requested?
There could be many reasons why recruiters do not send feedback when requested. Here are some things to think about: first, recruiters don’t want to start a huge email thread of feedback. Imagine the recruiter sends you feedback and then you follow-up with a question or a comment on the feedback. This is what they want to avoid.
Second, imagine they send you “honest” feedback, then you turn around and try to sue the company. It can happen. Not everyone knows how to receive feedback, and many take it the wrong way. To prevent possible legal dilemmas down the road, some interviewers simply do not give feedback. Sometimes, the email that you receive turning you down from the position, may even have a section that says, “Feedback regarding the position will not be provided.”
If you didn’t shine during the interviews or really didn’t make a strong impression, the recruiter will probably not send feedback. First, what could they send if you didn’t make a positive impression and show off your skills?
Another reason why recruiters don’t send feedback when requested is that they are busy people. They are normally conducting a series of interviews and combing through thousands of resumes per month. Don’t assume that they are being unprofessional by not responding, they’re just overly busy. However, if you did have a series of great interviews with a company and were not selected in the end, you should ask for feedback and you should probably get it.
Follow Up Template
Here are a few different models to help you write your feedback request.
Thank you for getting back to me. Although this wasn’t the answer I had hoped for, I very much enjoyed interviewing with you and your team and learning more about the organization. As I continue my job search with other companies, would you be willing to send me some honest feedback on areas that I can improve on for future interviews?
“Sorry, but we have selected another candidate who is a better fit for this position” is a tough email to receive. The important thing is that you try to figure out WHY you didn’t get selected. Besides asking for feedback, do a self-analysis. Think to yourself, “What could I have done better in the interview?” Be self-critical and try to improve for your next set of interviews. Find out what works and what doesn’t. The more you interview, the better you get at it!
Have you had a recent interview experience where you weren’t selected? Share your experience with the community.